n 26 MAY 2015 | PHARMACEUTICAL PROCESSING
nINTERPHEX 2015 ■ PHARMPRO.COM
INTERPHEX 2015 offered attendees multiple opportuni- ties for conversations focused on new products and approaches. One source of such discussions was the Rockwell Automation Center for the Connected Enterprise.
Pharmaceutical Processing sat down with Rockwell
Automation's Paula Puess, Global Market Development Manager
and Khris Kammer, Manager of Information Solutions Consulting
to get their take on the show, recent market developments and
what the future may hold for the pharmaceutical marketplace.
Jeff Reinke: Seeing Rockwell Automation with such a large
presence at INTERPHEX is interesting. What drove that decision?
Paula Puess: Although PharmaSuite MES software doesn't
have as large a presence in the U.S. pharmaceutical marketplace, we’ve been in this business for a long time. In Europe our
software systems are in place with the 20 or so largest manufacturers. So due to some key acquisitions and the continued
growth of our core product offerings, Big Pharma knows us
quite well on a global level.
JR: I found the Klyo Collaborative announcement, where
Rockwell is joining a group of six other design, engineering
and consulting firms to aid biopharmaceutical companies with
a host of solutions focused on small and large-scale product
developments, interesting as well. What do you feel will be the
greatest benefit of such a partnership?
Khris Kammer: Anytime you can increase collaboration
amongst different providers, the customer will benefit from
an ability to get things done more quickly. I think that’s the
biggest benefit with the partnership – the ability to integrate
the necessary product development in a modular and scalable fashion. This is huge for overcoming the difficult transition from formulation to factory.
JR: In working with either CMOs or Big Pharma clients, what
typically comes first – the hardware or the software?
PP: We’ve found that CMOs are typically more production
focused, so the equipment or hardware is very well integrated.
They turn to this data and other manufacturing intelligence as-
sets in looking at performance and driving efficiency, but Big
Pharma, in general, seems more focused on software implemen-
tation as a way to drive greater connectivity throughout the
enterprise and possibly across multiple locations. This is about
insuring product and brand integrity.
KK: On the Internet of Things front, we work closely to get
things specified accordingly at the beginning of the project, re-
gardless of the customer type. This is where our past history in
the marketplace, applying things we’ve learned from other indus-
tries and our confidence in our own products helps in ensuring
the processor doesn’t lose time during the integration process.
What’s interesting is that we find a great deal of machine-to-machine communication taking place within the pharmaceutical
production facility. Our job is getting all these assets talking to
each other so the data is easier to access and utilize. Getting
back to your initial question, in general we tend to start with
the software and the hardware sort of backs in as we get more
focused on production solutions.
JR: Pharma is unique in that, as an industry, it’s at the forefront of many production-focused technologies. In contrast,
enterprise-wide data integration has not always been a point of
strength. How do you work with processors this respect?
KK: Regardless of industry or the type of customer, we’ve
found that the biggest driver or obstacle to innovation and investments in software or automation is cultural, rather than an
issue of technology. So while we’re still working with the pharmaceutical marketplace to capture all the potential of our offerings, these are innovative companies that understand the value
proposition garnered via the deeper implementation of software
and related automation technologies.
So now it’s showing the processor how data-focused approaches will improve performance in multiple areas. What’s
unique with Pharma is that there is less need to help them understand why it’s important to access the data being generated.
Rather, we need to pay greater attention to the manner in which
they access this information and then act on what they’re seeing.
PP: This is key because this technology leads to so many other
areas of pharmaceutical production. Some of the biggest issues
relate to regulatory mandates impacting serialization and track and
trace. Integrating software applications that help address these regulations also allow for processors to better manage other areas of
the enterprise, including supply chain and product development. n
Legacy Drives New
While INTERPHEX and Rockwell Automation might not have a long history, the
company is looking to leverage a strong background in the pharmaceutical mar-
ketplace to help its customers drive software and automation-focused efficiencies.
n Interview by Jeff Reinke